I went to Denver to meet with my family over my dad's death.  He was cremated, so there was no funeral.  We all met at my sister's mother's house (his ex-wife's, but they were still good friends), and it was nice.  My aunt had made a video with pictures and music, one of his friends brought his guitar and sang songs that my dad liked, and people told stories. 

I found out that I wasn't the only one that my dad was "freaking out" on in the last few years.  He was doing that to almost everyone.  He would just get really intense, insane, freaked out that you were wrong and he was right, and cause all kinds of problems.  I guess they talked to each other and found out he was going through difficulties, I decided not to put up with it.

It's all very sad.  When I was meeting with my family, it was probably one of the first times I let myself cry.  His friend was playing all of these songs that he liked, and I was surrounded by people that loved him, and it was just very hard.  I stayed as long as I could, and then left.  I realize I went all the way to Denver, and then stayed maybe 3 hours with my family.  That's all I could handle, but at least I wasn't the first to leave, not nearly. 

My sister and I didn't talk much, there was too much going on.  Mark was very quiet, but he usually is in situations where he doesn't know people, except maybe at work.  Afterwards, he asked me how could we even be compatible, I guess by the way my dad was portrayed.  I asked him if he is the same as how one of his parents would be portrayed if they died.  He said no, so he finally got it.  I thought it was kind of a rude thing to say, actually.  But my dad and Mark are virtual opposites.  The biggest being Mark is very materialistic and my dad just wasn't.  Not at all.  Politically they couldn't be more far apart, the way they view the world, just everything.  I can't say who is right and who is wrong.  I see both sides.  I do see one side as being more selfish, however.  But I'm not even saying I'm not on that side.  I don't even know where I stand on anything anymore.

I had told my school that I was going to be gone for a few days because my dad had died, and today I was sitting in class when my cell phone rang (it was on silent but I saw a number pop up).  I listened to the voicemail and it was the director asking me if I needed to take a leave of absence.  Yes, she knows my dad died, but what the hell?  Why do I need to take a leave of absence when I'm SITTING IN CLASS?  So during break I hopped onto my laptop and sent her an email.  Maybe she was trying to be caring, but really?  I'm at school and you ask if I need a leave of absence?

I had separation anxiety from my dog, leaving him at a kennel for the first time since I got him.  It was a nice kennel, every dog had their own "room" with a door with a glass panel, and they were walked 4 times a day and had group time and I don't know what else.  I guess he found a friend while he was there, but when I went to pick him up, he cried almost the whole way home like he wasn't happy when he was there, and when we pulled up in the driveway, he REALLY started crying until he got into the house.  He panted heavily the whole way home, was almost shaking, or maybe he was shaking, I don't remember, I could just tell he wasn't happy.  Maybe I'll need to find a new kennel for next time, or maybe it was just the fact he was away from home for the first time and being from a shelter, he didn't know if I was going to come back for him or not.  I sure missed my little dog though!  I didn't know how attached to him I had become!

I'm still thinking through things, so much going on.  Marriage counseling, death, and lots of other things.  I guess I'm still somewhat sane, that's a positive.


Today will be Week 7 Day 3, the last day of Week 7, in my Couch to 5K program.  There's only 9 weeks, so I have 2 weeks left.  But I won't be running a 5k when I'm done, which is 3.1 miles.  I don't run that fast, maybe 2.5 miles, or a little more.  Eventually I'll be running 5K, I don't know when that will be.  I've lost about 11 pounds since I started, but it's not all from running.  I've drastically changed my diet, and maybe Latuda has helped, I'm not sure.  I had lost another 2 pounds on Friday.

Thanks for the kind words about my dad, they really helped.  I broke down at the most inconvenient time, but I guess you can't really choose when or where it's going to happen.  Mark was getting gas on the way to church, and I just lost it.  A full face of makeup, and I couldn't stop crying.  We were walking in to church, and I pulled it together enough not cry through the parking lot, but when we got inside and I heard the music, I lost it again.  If anyone saw me, they probably just thought I was really moved by the music, but I don't really care what they thought.  My dad just died, I don't know how you're supposed to act, but I think crying is probably involved.

I called my sister, the first time we've spoken in maybe 8-10 years.  She was really glad to hear from me.  She had been wanting to call me, but said she didn't have my phone number or email or anything.  My aunt had given me her number.  I asked if she was okay and she asked if I was okay, then she told me the details I needed to know like my dad had already paid a funeral, etc.  She said the sweetest thing though.  She said maybe there was a silver lining in all of this, meaning by us talking.  I sure would like a sister, maybe she would too.  We'll see where it goes from here.

I'm actually looking forward to going to Denver, not for the funeral, but just going to Denver in general.  I haven't been there in SO LONG.  I used to spend time there visiting my dad.  I have a lot of fond memories of being there.  My dad had taken me to Casa Bonita's a few times, and I loved it so much that when I got back to my little hometown in Kansas I wrote a paper about it English and read it in front of the class.  I was so small town - haha!  But I want to take Mark there, out of tribute to my dad and to show him where I used to go. 

Politics aren't the same since he passed, watching the Cowboys play the Broncos won't be the same, or any Dallas team play any Denver team.  I didn't realize that with our limited long distance relationship what an effect he had on me.  He was the most die hard left leaning liberal I knew, and he certainly meant well.  I think all liberals mean well.  I used to be one, and I meant well and was very sincere, very caring and giving, I don't know how or why I changed.  He probably saw that I got selfish, and maybe I am, I don't know.  I'm really confused right now.  Did I allow Mark to influence me?   I feel really guilty about the things I said to my dad at the end that led to us not talking.  I mean, REALLY guilty.  Maybe I was wrong and he was right.  But that's politics, there never is a wrong and right, that's why people argue.  But it drove us apart.

I'm looking forward to putting this all behind me and getting on with my life.  I don't know how long that will take.  I wish I could say once the funeral is over and we're back home, but I'm not sure I'll be over it by then.  Don't get me wrong, I'm not all depressed going around crying all the time, I'm functioning, maybe not laughing all the time, but not in bed with the covers over my head either.  I'm not sulking, I feel pretty normal, which I think is awesome with everything going on in my life.  My husband dragging me to marriage counseling because he's so unhappy and listening to his list of reasons why he's so unhappy with me, my dad, I mean, any of these things could be a major trigger for a serious depression.  Yet I'm "hanging in there", dealing with it all.  I'm not sure what's kept me grounded, but I'm glad it has.

My Dad

My Dad died.  I'm in a fog about it.  Everybody grieves differently, I'm just in la-la land, a total space cadet, totally unable to focus on anything but that.  I didn't go to school today, I just stayed home in bed, got up around noon even though I wasn't sleeping, canceled my hair appointment, and here I sit. 

My Dad died of natural causes my Aunt told me.  He had been in the hospital I guess for his leg, he almost lost it because it wouldn't heal (he had diabetes).  Then his blood pressure was very low and they had him on medications, but his kidneys started to fail.  They took him off of the medications, and apparently his blood pressure went back up and his kidneys started functioning.  So they wanted to put him back on the medications and he checked himself out of the hospital without consent from the doctor.  I knew NOTHING about this because we weren't speaking. 

To make things worse, apparently his wife had just EVICTED him from the house, actually got a court order and had him evicted.  My aunt and his other daughter and his ex wife and found him an apartment and moved him into it.  He's legally blind, has a bad back and has diabetes, so he didn't work, he was on disability.  He also has major mental health issues, and I was very relieved he hadn't taken his own life.  My aunt said they found him a cute apartment with people just like him in the complex. 

Apparently he died from a blood clot.  They found him in the closet, he had been on the phone (dialing someone, I suppose, not actually on the phone with anyone), and I guess he fell out of the chair into the closet.  The police found him when they searched his apartment for him.

So now it's all so complicated.  His body is at the morgue, but his wife, who is not his ex-wife, has authority over him, instead of his daughters.  She has the rights to everything, to say exactly what happens to him, over anyone.  She called my sister and my aunt crying, telling them a different story than what he had told them, and you know, who is to say what is the right story, there are two sides to every story.  My sister was much much closer to him than I was, so I'm not getting involved, I'll let them work it out between them, if there is anything to work out, if my sister will even be involved.  For all I know, I could be paying for a funeral, how do I even know?  I hate this waiting, waiting, I can't book a flight yet, I don't know when to go to Denver, I don't know anything.  Everything is so in limbo, I can't make any plans. 

Any my relationship with my sister (half sister) is complicated too.  I don't know her very well either, and the last time we spoke was many years ago.  She wanted me to be a bridesmaid in her wedding, and I told her I would, but when it came to getting measured for the dress, I just couldn't, I felt too fat, so I didn't.  So when I put it off, she said it was okay, just pick out a red dress.  I didn't do that either, and rightfully so, she got really mad and said something like "you know, messing up someone's wedding is really fucked up", and I said something like "I guess we'll never be close".  I was the person in the wrong, so how can I just pick up the phone and call her?  I'm afraid she'll still be mad at me, not want to talk to me, whatever, and that will just make things worse.  I probably should just call her, but I don't know, I'm just...scared.

I guess the hardest thing is that we weren't even talking when he died.  I had cut off communication from him, but I did leave it open and told him if he wanted to have a relationship with me that didn't involve politics then to pick up the phone and call me.  He never did.  We just had a political-email relationship really.  And when our politics started to clash, he couldn't deal with it.  When we agreed, it was great, but when I started veering from what he believed, he saw me as a traitor and was so very angry and spiteful to me. 

But apparently he had a great relationship with my sister, they talked on the phone often I guess, they saw each other (they both lived in Denver), but we never had that kind of relationship, we never even lived in the same city except for the first 2 years of my life.

I guess I never really knew my Dad.  My Aunt was going on and on about the good things about him, and I was thinking....what did I really know about him?

Even though, I knew enough about him that I'm upset, I've shut myself down, I can't comprehend things.  Last night Mark was laughing hysterically at a website and I thought, can anyone be more unsympathetic than that?  I guess I can't expect the whole world to grieve with me, everyone can't be sad just because I am. 

Anxiety and Counseling

Since I stopped taking Geodon and switched to Latuda, I've lost almost 10 pounds.  But I've also been dieting and on the Couch to 5k Running Program (on Week 6 out of 9 weeks).  Some of it is from the anxiety I feel almost all of the time, it takes my hunger away.  I don't know if it's because of the absence of Geodon which really calmed me, almost dulled me, or what it is.  But I do feel a tremendous amount of anxiety.  My doctor cut down my klonipin last time I saw him from 3 per day to 2 per day, and since I was taking 2 every night to sleep, I cut it back to 1 per night so I'd have a cushion for panic attacks that might arise.  So there are lots of reasons for the anxiety I feel.  But I keep telling myself, people actually PAY to feel anxious like this so they aren't hungry (phentermine), so maybe it's not such a bad thing.

Mark and I are still in marriage counseling.  We each completed "emotional questionnaires" and faxed them to our counselor, and in our last session, she had our top 5 needs that we had indicated, and our satisfaction charted, with a level of satisfaction tallied at the bottom for each of us.  All of us were surprised that I was more unhappy in the marriage than Mark was.   I mean, I knew I wasn't thrilled in the marriage, but Mark made it sound like it was such a dire situation, that how in the world could *I* be more unhappy than HIM?  But apparently I am, and although I said we weren't really there for me, I was fine, the counselor said "obviously I wasn't fine", and we each went over our top 5 needs, and she discussed some of the comments that we'd made on the questionnaire.  Some were hard for me to hear, but I think it was harder for Mark, believe it or not.  I had already heard what he was unhappy with in our previous session, nothing was new to me. 

But it's opened the door to open and honest communication, and our marriage is already better.  We're both trying to work on improving the needs of the other person, what the other person indicated they aren't getting, and it seems like it's helping.  What is really hard for me, though, is that he feels like I've "let myself go".  I mean, I can cry and cry about it, but what good would that do?  All I can do is buy new clothes, keep exercising and dieting, get manis and pedis, buy shoes, you know, all kinds of girlie things that girls are supposed to love to do that I've neglected to do for awhile.  And to be honest, I've neglected my friends because I've been embarrassed of the way I look, so it's good for me to do these things to feel good about myself, too.  Why I think it's okay for me to look a certain way for my husband but not for my friends shouldn't be right.  And "attractiveness of spouse" is high on his list.  He goes overboard taking care of himself, it's just...I don't know, I guess I got comfortable and sloppy about it because I'm in school, gained weight because of meds, I could list a hundred reasons but in the end, does it really matter?  It doesn't mean that my feelings aren't really hurt though.

I've heard people say that when someone is depressed, sometimes they feel anxious instead of depressed.  In that case, I may be really depressed.  I don't really know what to think of all of this anxiety.

Is It The End?

I ran my Couch to 5k program today Week 5 Day 3 which was running for 20 minutes without stopping.  I did it, which was incredible, but I did have to slow down the speed halfway through.  No matter, I still ran for 20 minutes nonstop.

I feel like my marriage is crumbling and there's nothing I can do.  I am so anxious I can hardly concentrate at school, I don't have much of an appetite, I cry at times.  My husband goes to dinner every night when he's in Chicago, but his dinners last for 5 hours, who has 5 hour dinners?  He says who he's going with but I'm skeptical.  And he's given a laundry list to our marriage counselor of all things he is unhappy with me about that I don't know how to deal with besides trying to fix them, but it's overwhelming.  It makes me think, is it worth it?  Is it better to just pull off the bandaid now?  The way I feel right now is not good, I hate the way I feel. 

I completed a questionnaire the counselor required us to do individually and faxed it over tonight for our session on Friday.  I felt like I was tempting fate by notating MY needs and where *I* am unhappy, like I don't have a right to do that.  Like tonight, I said you go out every night when you're in Chicago, why don't you do that when you're in Dallas?  His response?  So comforting, HA!  I would, but you're there.  Like I'm in his way of having a good time???  Why are we even together then?  He said I'm afraid that you won't let me entertain next week when everyone comes in to town for business.  I said I had no problem with that.

It just seems to me like he's tired of me and wants to move on, but I don't know what is stopping him, maybe it's an emotional connection that's he's not quite ready to break, but will once he gets the strength.  It's not about love anymore.  I sure don't feel loved or cherished. 

Is marriage counseling just a waste of our time and he's ready to move on, and we're going to go through all of this when his mind and his heart have already moved on? 

How can I NOT feel anxious and depressed?  We've been together for 14 years, and I thought a man who adored me and would never leave me is now extremely unhappy with me and I don't know where this will end.  I can only change so much so fast, but in the end, will it all be for nothing?  Is divorce inevitable?

Latuda and Counseling

My birthday was last Tuesday, and it was the worst birthday EVER!  I was dreading it all week, and it when it came, I was so depressed when I woke up.  No, not because I was a year older, but because it was our first marriage counseling appointment.

It went much worse than I ever could have imagined.  I had seen the therapist twice in the past, so she knew all my history, such as how I grew up, etc.  She knew nothing about Mark, so she wanted to get to know him.  Basically the appointment was all about him.  When she asked why we were there, I just "ask him, he has a list".  So he pulls out his tablet, opens up an application, and begins to give reasons that he's unhappy with me.  I glanced over at what he was looking at, and I couldn't read the words, but it looked like some sort of Visio-type application with boxes attached to boxes with words in them.

I never really got a chance to defend myself.  He would say something, and every once in awhile, she would say "How does make you FEEL?".  Well "how does that make you feel" gives me a very limited choice of answers,  "sad, unhappy, mad, etc.", not really the ability to stand up for myself or say anything in return.

So I left just absolutely CRUSHED, I couldn't even talk, I just wanted to start uncontrollably sobbing.  Mark said in the car "So do you want to go to dinner for your birthday tonight?" and I just put my hand up and shook my head no.  All I wanted to do was go to bed and cry.

But, reflecting now, I'm glad things are out in the open.  She sent us both questionnaires where we BOTH put down our needs and how well they're being met (on a scoring system), and then we'll talk about that.  I have unmet needs too, not getting back at him, but while we're in counseling, might as well address them.

Maybe the Latuda is working, because I was able to pull myself together on my birthday and we did go to dinner that night and have a nice night.  Before, I really would have stayed in bed the rest of the day.

Also, something is causing me to really lose weight.  Don't get me wrong, I am TRYING to lose weight, it's just that it's coming off much faster than it normally does.  I've lost about 7 pounds in the last month, when normally, I can't lose more than 4 pounds in a month.  I don't if it's the Latuda, because I started the Couch to 5k Running program around the same time, I guess that's all it could be that I've done differently.  It certainly could be either one.  With the Latuda, I'm not cheating on my diet like I was with Geodon and snacking at night, and I think running might raise your metabolism.  Maybe it's a combination of both, but I'm thinking it might be the Latuda. 

So that's awesome if Latuda is speeding up my weight loss.  The only downside to Latuda I've seen so far is that it makes me constipated.  I've been taking Fibercon at night, but so far, it hasn't worked at all. 

I'm really proud of myself for sticking with the Couch to 5k Running program so long.  The next time I run, it will be Week 5 Day 3, and it's running for 20 minutes with no stopping.  When I started in Week 1, it was all I could do to run for 1 minute at a time!  The program is 9 weeks long, and since I'm about to start Week 6, I can see the end is near and am so excited that I might actually finish!  No, I WILL finish, failure is not an option!

So I've made all these little changes in response to our counseling session, bought lots of clothes (ha!  who thought that something I love to do would be part of me doing something for counseling), getting my nails done every week, oh, life is tough.  But there are other changes, like letting Mark pick movies (even though he picked the one he knew I wanted to see and not one he wanted to see, so why is he complaining that he never gets to see movies he wants to see?).  I know his questionnaire is going to be really tough for me to read, it's going to hurt my feelings a lot, but I'm sure I'll get manage through it and hopefully our marriage will be stronger for it.  She told us BOTH of us would have to make changes, I was surprised to hear her say BOTH, after him listing off all my faults and me saying nothing. 

I don't want a divorce, so it's something I have to do.  I realized that I have unmet needs too, but until I read through that questionnaire, I didn't actually realize what I had been ignoring, what had been hurting me for so long.  So counseling should be good, I hope.  Or not, and Mark won't be able to handle it as well (that I handle it well) as I am able to.  Oh, and Mark is supposedly going through an early "exostential crisis".  You THINK?

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